Pediatric Behavioral Health

About Dr. Dessureau


Dr. DessureauDr. Brian Dessureau is a licensed psychologist and Health Services Provider who specializes in neuropsychology. Dr. Dessureau received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Adult and Pediatric Neuropsychology at UMass Medical School/UMass Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Dessureau is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Neurology at UMass Medical School, with a special focus on pediatric neuropsychology.

Dr. Dessureau specializes in the neuropsychological assessment of a broad range of pediatric cognitive and learning problems, with a focus on accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause of each child's difficulties. Areas of expertise include the broad range of learning disabilities, the pervasive developmental disorders including Asperger's disorder, and cognitive problems related to various neurological or processing disorders. Each assessment includes comprehensive planning for how to manage the individual child's difficulties within the home and school environment, and focuses on both strengths and weaknesses in order to develop a comprehensive plan for care, support, and improvement. Dr. Dessureau also provides behaviorally-focused psychotherapy to families in order to assist in implementing these plans for change.

Areas of Practice
  • Psychological Testing
  • Neuropsychological Testing
  • Psychoeducational Evaluations   
Dr. Dessureau's Helpful Tip
How To Work Effectively With The School System

Getting the services that your child needs from the school system can sometimes be a difficult and confusing process, but here are some tips to make the process more manageable and beneficial to your child:

  • Be confident!  If your child has a learning or other disability, and that disability impacts your child's educational performance, then he/she legally qualifies for services within the school, according to both federal and state law (see links below).
  • Be informed!  Ask questions of everyone involved in the care of your child, from the neuropsychologist who conducted the assessment, to his/her teachers, to the Special Education team members.  The more you know, the more effective you can be at advocating for your child.
  • Be organized!  Know what accommodations or services you want for you child, and if possible, keep that list to a reasonable number, usually 4-6 specific goals.  The huge lists of accommodations seen on websites and in books are meant to be general- pare that list down to those that are most important for your child.
  • Be involved!  Always be sure to attend all school meetings regarding your child, help out with their homework, and keep in touch with his/her teacher.  There is no substitute for knowing firsthand what is happening with your child.
  • Be positive!  It's best to try to maintain a positive attitude when working with the school.  In most cases, they also want your child to succeed, and if you a display a willingness to work effectively with them, they will often be more motivated to help your child.
  • Get help.  When all of the above fails, be aware that professional help is available.  Contact the psychologist or neuropsychologist who conducted the assessment, and consider hiring an Education Advocate to help navigate this complex system.  These services are available to you here at Pediatric Behavioral Health.

Helpful links:

        Federal Law (IDEA): http://www.nichcy.org/idealaw.htm

        Massachusetts State Law: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/gl-71b-toc.htm